La nuee

La nuee
Original title:La nuee
Director:Just Philippot
Running time:101 minutes
Release date:00 0000 (France)

Mulder's Review

"What interested me about this story was that it was a film of today, a film that, through its fantastic dimension, spoke directly about us, about the great imbalance that affects the world and agriculture in particular. (...) It all begins when Virginie understands that you have to give her locusts something extra. It's not pesticides, it's not food, it's a part of herself. It's by completely abandoning herself to her production that she explodes her output.... This is more of a tension film than a genre film. To define it more precisely, I would say that it is an agricultural thriller that ends like a catstrophic film" - Just Philippot

Discovered as part of the Gérardmer International Fantastic Film Festival, The Swarm is a film event that succeeds in going beyond a simple ecological horror film to become a brilliant exercise in style and a first film that is both compelling and spectacular. In the midst of the pandemic, discovering this film shows us to what extent mankind's disregard for the natural balance of things leads to his own demise. In such a society in which one runs endlessly in search of success and in which one tries to succeed despite financial difficulties, the observation of The Swarm is really a shock as the film is both credible and frightening, attractive and repulsive.

We discover the character of Virginie Hebrard (Suliane Brahim, perfect), a single mother following her husband's suicide, who raises her two children alone and tries to save her farm from bankruptcy. In search of a miracle and radical solution, she starts breeding edible locusts. After a difficult start, an accident will lead Virginie to a frightening discovery but also to a solution to develop her production enormously. Virginie will develop with her locusts a strange obsessive bond in which her own blood seems to be the solution to make her grasshopper breeding grow a lot.

In Jérôme Genevray's screenplay, Franck Victor is constantly trying to stay in the realistic but add by small touches fantastic elements while making a solid study of the French farming environment. One must see this young mother who tries her best to save her company even if it means losing her health. The Swarm also takes a new look at the vampire and animal genre and thus moves away from certain films featuring dangerous animals or insects.

It is easy to understand the director's desire to propose another approach that is as attractive as it is new. Attractive because a great care is perceptible in the film team's will to propose a film with careful photography, music in perfect osmosis with the images and above all a really invested casting in which the spectators can only take affection for this family. New because the film easily distances itself from the films of giant creatures, monsters or insects that American films have been watering the spectators for many (too) long years.

Hailed with the critics' and public's prize at the closing of the Gérardmer International Fantastic Film Festival, The Swarm is certainly a film event to be discovered in the cinema as soon as the theaters reopen.

The Swarm
Directed by Just Philippot
Produced by Thierry Lounas, Manuel Chiche
Written by Jérôme Genevray, Franck Victor
Starring Suliane Brahim, Sofian Khammes, Marie Narbonne, Raphaël Romand, Victor Bonnel, Vincent Deniard
Music by Vincent Cahay
Cinematography: Romain Carcanade
Edited by Pierre Deschamps
Production companies : Capricci Production, The Jokers, Arte France Cinéma
Distributed by The Jokers / Capricci (France)
Release date: unknown
Running time: 101 minutes

Seen on January 27th (Gerardmer Festival)

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